Less than two weeks ago you didn’t have to look far to hear the NRA squawk box holding forth on the relationship between a national tragedy and a national call for better gun regulation:
Eleven days ago—since when two mass shootings have taken place, this one in Newtown and another earlier this week at a shopping mall in Oregon—the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) president, referring to yet another shooting, bemoaned the media “[seizing] on the back of this national tragedy to try to piggyback their anti-Second Amendment national agenda right on top of the back of the national tragedy and try to force it on Americans all over the country.” Mr LaPierre, like the NRA’s Twitter page, has been silent today.
Read more: Here
So, where is LaPierre and his rhetoric after two more “major” tragedies? Uh, they shut down their Twitter and Facebook accounts is where they have been. In addition to Clackamas and Newtown, buried in the newsfeed noise, have been a host of other gun-violence episodes in the past 72 hours, and a foiled plot to attack an Oklahoma school involving guns… and because we ‘murrikens loves us some ‘spolzhuns… bombs.
I find LaPierre’s statement to be particularly disingenuous. Note that the NRA will exploit virtually any piece of “evidence” that they can frame as supporting their positions. I can’t remember the NRA failing to exploit tragedies in nations where there is strong gun control (Norway, anyone?) or at least the assumption of strong gun control, as evidence that gun control doesn’t stop tragedies. Yet the NRA has the balls to tell others to remain silent on the same issues. The NRA is simply on the wrong side of this argument. Instead of using their supposed expertise and their very real and extensive membership base to craft sensible and effective gun legislation, they have chosen to be the Vatican of Firepower. They got what they need, and plenty of tithers feeding their organization, and they aren’t going to listen to any outside information. The occasionally venture out onto their balcony to issue directives at the masses, and then skulk back into the shadows. Dialogue is for the losers.
Much like the ramblings of halfwits like Mike Huckabee
, LaPierre is answering a question that nobody asked, ever. The NRA is a firearms industry protectionist lobbying group masquerading as a civil rights organization. Real civil rights recognizes that justice is often a process of give and take, and that there are two sides to the process. If your side is all “take” and no “give” then you get stasis, not progress. Sadly the NRA is content to play for stasis because the chessboard is heavily weighted in their favor now. Note that this is much like the GOP playing for stasis now that the wealthy and corporations are paying historically low taxes, if you were looking for a current events analogy. They both use that current advantage to generate more and bigger donations from their respective bases.
To wrap on a personal point of reflection: I used to think that the NRA was a 2nd Amendment organization, and my response on why I would be a member was “because I wish every part of the constitution has an organization of that size and power”. And I really do have that ideal as an example of “things that would be good”. As well I listened hard to the replies in those conversations and did a lot of research to see if the NRA was really about the Constitution. I won’t say there was none, but what there was lacked any real substance beyond propagandizing. I had to come around, though it isn’t that far, to the realization that the NRA’s attachment to the 2nd Amendment is purely window dressing.
Extra Credit: the folks in Vegas might say that the odds are very high that when we do hear from the NRA it will be a brief nod to the victims, and then right back to the equivalent of a Papal Mass. Any takers?